I am delicate. This tough guise
comes along with the collared shirts –
briefs – jackets in mud puddles –
but it is only a performance.
Do not mistake it for the same gauge
of pressure it takes to bruise
the skin of my heart. Purple
gives way to red gives way to pink.
Even the strong language I take in
too deep because I have no wall up
between me and you. I have no wall
up but you can’t tell how transparent
I am when I have cried, when I have
asked a question, turned a door handle
so you did not have to. I want to take
care of you. I want to take care of
myself, so invisibly that you won’t notice,
then take care of you. But that is not
realistic. I know. I am sensitive,
affected by all the madness marching
around me. I cannot get away from it
some days. Some days I am eaten alive
by the bees in the hive, some days I am
the hive through which everything flows.
I carry around words like brutal and
punished in a notebook and touch the
letters when I need a reminder of
the damage that can be done, can not
be undone. Phrases yielded like
knives. I refuse to use my words
as weapons, though I could, I could
cause hurt, could leave scars. Instead
I choose to swallow, don’t let it out,
don’t let things go, there is no way
to know what the words will become
once they leave my tongue. Possibly
dandelions, possibly stinging nettles,
possibly a poisonous cup of hemlock.
I drink it all down myself instead:
then there can be no misinterpretation.